NASA offers rare access to visitors during 2012

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Vehicle Assembly Building (credit: Kennedy Space Center)

Vehicle Assembly Building (credit: Kennedy Space Center)

Get rare access to NASA on your Florida vacation

NASA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Space Center with many interesting opportunities if you visit during 2012. Located close to Orlando’s other theme parks, it’s worth a visit this year as they are planning more tour sof operational and key areas, but these guided tours is what is available so far, and, as close as you’ll come to being an astronaut!

Kennedy Space Center Up-Close

One of the largest buildings in the world, the 525-foot-tall Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), hasn’t been open to the public for more than 30 years. The Kennedy Space Center Up-Close Tour lets you step inside the building and gives you a glimpse of where assembly happens, from the first Saturn V rocket right up to STS-135 Atlantis space shuttle. You’ll also see the the 6 million-pound crawler-transporter and the rocket and space shuttle launch pads.

Tour Cost: $25/ adults, $19/children ages 3-11; on top of admission.

Cape Canaveral: Then & Now

Tour 50 years of the Cape and space exploration from the Mercury Memorial to the Launch Complex 5/6 (where the first two Mercury launches took place). The Air Force Space and Missile Museum; Launch Complex 19 and 34, are also on the guided tour. Note that video and photography limits are strictly enforced to particular stops only. And if you’re an international guest, it’s mandatory to bring your passport along in order to participate.

Tour Cost: $25/ adults, $19/children ages 3-11; on top of admission.

50th Anniversary Events and Deals

Among these special tours, the celebration of 50 years for the Space Center includes a July 1 event to note the name change. There is also an annual pass and 50th gold admission package, which are budget savings if you want to attend rocket launches and save on food and entrance fees.

Tell us…

Do you watch the space shuttle launches?